The 7th Design Triennial in Flanders 2013 called ‘Conflict & Design’ offered an investigation into the social relevance of design. It asked pertinent questions relating to its impact, its role and responsibility within society. Presenting a diverse range of concepts, projects, objects, processes and new developments within the contemporary design sector, such as user-centered, social, participation, process, sustainable and ethical design, to explore themes and provide new understanding. Disarming Design was one of the featured projects and showed their products in a large hall.
For the designers selected for this triennial observation is their starting point. The emphasis is on the way in which a successful design offers a solution to the conflict, based on observation and participation. In other words, not innovation for the sake of innovation, but rather design with a clear social-societal objective: creating a better living, social and working climate. Their work can be considered essential when reflecting on how, in the (near) future, we will be obliged to interact with each other and manage our natural resources in fundamentally different ways.
The exhibition included a screening of the documentary ‘House of the Eyes’ by Donna Verheijden and Martina Petrelli. Both designers participated in the create-shop of 2012 and decided to return to Palestine and capture their observations in film.
Kurt Vanbelleghem (curator Triennial)